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The failure of Amazon Web Services causes problems at Disney +, Netflix, Coinbase

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Participant in an annual cloud computing conference from Amazon.com

Salvador Rodriguez | Reuters

Amazon’s cloud computing unit suffered an outage on Tuesday that brought some websites and services to a standstill.

A notice on the Amazon Web Services status page stated that there were issues with certain APIs and the AWS Management Console. The issues affect the main AWS US-East-1 Region, which is hosted in Northern Virginia, so not all users may experience outages.

The outage began around 11 a.m. EST. Late Tuesday afternoon, AWS announced in an updated notice that it had seen some signs of improvement, but that there was no estimated time for a full recovery.

Services that have reported problems due to the outage include Disney’s streaming subscription service, Disney +, Netflix, Slack, the stock trading app Robinhood, and Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States

The outage also stalled important tools that are used within Amazon. Warehouse and delivery workers, as well as drivers for Amazon’s Flex service, reported on Reddit that they couldn’t access the Flex app or the AtoZ app, making it impossible to scan packages or access delivery routes.

Amazon sellers also reported being unable to access Seller Central, an internal website used to manage customer orders.

In a message sent to delivery drivers via Amazon Chime, an internal chat app, and viewed by CNBC, the company said it is “currently monitoring a network-wide technical outage” that is affecting delivery operations.

“If the drivers are unable to continue delivery due to the outage, go to a safe place nearby and wait,” the message continued.

It is unclear how many warehouses and delivery stations were experiencing issues as a result of the AWS outage. Amazon didn’t respond to questions about the retail impact of the outage.

Samuel Caceres, an Amazon driver in Washington state, told CNBC that his delivery facility has been “down” since 8:00 am PST. Drivers and warehouse workers have been on standby since then, he added.

Many warehouse and delivery workers were unable to see their working day and were instructed to wait in break rooms until the problems were resolved. Some flex drivers, who are contract workers who make deliveries in their own vehicles, were unable to sign up for shifts and were sent home for the day.

The outage hits Amazon retail at a particularly inopportune time. The company is in the middle of the “high season” when Christmas shoppers are placing a spate of orders and the e-commerce giant is under tremendous pressure to get its packages to arrive on time.

Amazon’s in-house delivery arm, made up of contract delivery companies and independent Flex drivers, is increasingly monitoring this piece of the puzzle. According to ShipMatrix, the company delivers around two-thirds of its own packages to the United States.

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